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Jul 14
The iPod is still alive and doing well

Don't write the iPod off just yet. While some have predicted its demise due to the rising popularity of the iPhone and iPad, the iPod is alive and thriving.

In the US in May, the iPod line-up accounted for 73% of the MP3 player market, according to new research by the NDP Group (http://www.npdgroup.com). That's pretty much the percentage the line has had for, well, years.

If you want to predict a product's demise, begin planning the funeral service of Microsoft's Zune. According to NPD, it held just 1% of the US market share in May.

| Read more »
Jul 14
Analyst says 'Consumer Reports' test of the iPhone 4...

Bob Egan, a technology blogger and global head of research/chief analyst at the TowerGroup, says the "Consumer Reports" on the antenna/reception problems of the iPhone 4 -- which left the publication unable to recommend the smartphone -- is flawed and "can barely be counted as scientific."

Egan says "Consumer Reports" replicated the same uncontrolled, unscientific experiments that other sites have done. He also wonders if the issue is even entirely Apple's, supposing that AT&T could share some of the blame for the signal variance and call dropping problems.

On his own web site, "Viewpoints by Bob Egan," (http://macosg.me/2/j5) he had this to say: "Let me start off by saying that for much of my career, I worked as an electromagnetic engineer on exactly the kind of issues that now face Apple on the iPhone4. But this isn’t about me. It is about Consumer Reports and its not so scientific testing on the...

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Jul 14
Research group: the iPad will put the smackdown on netbooks

The Goldman Sachs research group says the iPad is going to put the hurt -- big time -- on netbooks. Their new report -- as noted by the "Financial Times" (http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2010/07/13/285006/goldman-really-likes-i...) -- lists five reasons for this:

° Consumption -- the iPad is focused squarely on information consumption versus information production;

° Content -- the iPad relies on tight integration with content sources;

°  Connected -- multiple options ensure the iPad is connected to the Internet;

° Constant operation -- the iPad is an “instant on” device with all-day battery life;

° Commerce --Apple’s ecosystem ensures that users are always "ready to buy."

| Read more »
Jul 14
NPD: music consumers interested in taking music to the '...

The NPD Group (http://www.npdgroup.com), a market research company, recently surveyed iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and iPod Touch users to explore their reactions to various music subscription-model concepts. According to NPD’s “iTunes Usage Report,” more than a quarter of respondents expressed strong interest in a free cloud-based music option, and many were willing to pay a subscription fee to access their own music libraries from multiple devices and platforms.

NPD’s “iTunes Usage Report” asked consumers to report on their reactions to a music service offering free and unlimited streaming of content from the consumer’s own iTunes music library, and several paid options for music subscriptions offering combinations of music streaming, music downloads, and universal Web access to the consumer’s iTunes music library.

Between seven million and eight million iTunes users in the U.S. would have strong...

| Read more »
Jul 14
ChangeWave survey shows 'major leap' for Apple, iPhone

ChangeWave’s latest smart phone survey of 4,028 consumers shows an explosive transformation occurring in consumer demand -- resulting in some major new winners and losers for second half 2010. At the individual manufacturers’ level, going forward the survey findings show a major leap for Apple and HTC at the expense of RIM and Motorola.

The survey -- completed June 24 -- took a close-up look at consumer demand for the new Apple iPhone 4 and the HTC Droid Incredible, along with the impact these and other offerings are having on the rest of the smart phone industry. Consumer smart phone planned buying going forward is at an all-time high for a ChangeWave survey – with 16.4% of respondents in our latest survey saying they plan on buying a smart phone in the next 90 days.

The iPhone 4 is driving much of the industry’s growth, with more than one-in-two (52%) respondents who plan to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days saying they’ll get an Apple iPhone. That's an...

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Jul 14
USB Fever releases new iPad, iPhone, iPod products

USB Fever has released six new products for the iPad, iPhone and iPod.

The US$17.99 Wooden Desktop Cradle for iPad (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1927) lets you use your Apple tablet as a digital photo frame or showcase. The $13.99 Custom Made Bike/Bicycle Handlebar Mount & Holder for the Apple iPhone 4 (http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=1925) is suitable for handlebars 3/4 inch to one inch in diameter and comes with two cushioned reducing inserts.

The $15.99 Stereo In-ear Earphone for iPhone/iPod (...

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Jul 14
WaterField Designs announces two new iPhone cases

WaterField Designs (http://www.sfbags.com/) has announced the iPhone 4 Smart Case and iPhone 4 Suede Jacket in new "Bumper-Fit" sizes to fit the iPhone 4 within the Apple Bumper Case. To avoid the widely reported reception issues associated with the smartphone, more users are utilizing the Apple Bumper or similarly thin rubberized cases.

The Smart Case and Suede Jacket further protect the screen and device from bumps and scratches and are now available to fit over the popular iPhone 4 skins, according to the folks at Waterfield Design. The iPhone 4 Smart Case (pictured) offers a multi-layered padding system with a high-impact, rigid insert to protect the screen. It's available in three functional style variations offer carrying options: slip style (US$39), for stashing in a pocket or bag; flap style ($45): for attaching to a bag or backpack strap for quick access; and clip style ($45) for clipping to a belt...

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Jul 14
Canon introduces VIXIA HF M32 Dual Flash Memory Camcorder

Canon U.S.A. (http://www.usa.canon.com) introduces the new VIXIA HF M32 Dual Flash Memory camcorder. Equipped with 64GB of internal flash memory, the new camcorder can record up to 24 hours of HD video and also includes an SD memory card slot that's compatible with latest generation SDXC memory cards.

The new SDXC memory card specification increases storage capacity from 32GB up to 2TB and enhances data transfer speeds. Like it’s predecessors in the VIXIA HF M-series, the VIXIA HF M32 sports a compact and lightweight body. It retains Canon’s proprietary imaging technologies -- a Genuine Canon HD Video Lens, HD CMOS Image Sensor and DIGIC DV III Image Processor -- and like other VIXIA HF M-series camcorders, features a Touch Panel LCD and such features as Smarat Auto, Touch & Track, Relay Recoding, Powered IS, HD-to-SD Downconversion and Advanced Video Snapsho.

The VIXIA HF M32 is compatible...

| Read more »
Jul 14
Apple buys Poly9, which makes web mapping technology

Apple has bought Poly9 (http://www.poly9.com), a Quebec company, for its web mapping technology, according to a "LeSoleil" report (http://macosg.me/2/iu). The article gives no purchase price or acquisition date, but says that most Poly9 employees have moved to Apple's California headquarters.

Poly9 -- whose web site is down -- is best known for developing web-based mapping programs and application programming interfaces for a variety of clients. Among its products is Poly9 Globe, a "cross-browser, cross-platform 3D globe which does not require any download." The interactive software allows users to spin a three-dimensional rendering of the Earth, while providing real-time statistics on the user's virtual location, including altitude.

Last year Apple acquired Placebase, another online mapping company. Placebase's Pushpin provides a...

| Read more »
Jul 14
Analyst: iPhone 4 recall would cost Apple $1.5 billion

If -- and it's not going to happen, in my humble opinion -- Apple did recall the iPhone due to its reported antenna/reception issues, it would cost the company US$1.5 billion, according to Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

That's 3.5% of the company's total, on-hand cash. However, even Saccogaghi says such a recall is highly unlikely.

"CNET" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20010443-260.html) says that what would be more likely -- and cheaper -- is that Apple could issue a free rubber bumper case with each smartphone. That would prevent a person's hand from coming into contact with the phone's antenna, which is built into its exterior metal strip. Although Apple charges $29 at retail for the rubber cases, Bernstein estimates that giving them away to iPhone 4 customers would cost the company $1 per unit.

| Read more »
Jul 14
iPhone 4 now odds-on to be recalled

I don't think it will happen, but betting company Paddy Power (http://www.paddypowerplc.com) has slashed the odds on Apple recalling its iPhone 4 from 2/1 to 4/6 making it odds-on that the smartphone be recalled. 



Complaints about poor reception and a bad report by "Consumer Reports" have sparked a betting frenzy over the past 24 hours with hundreds of punters backing a potential recall with Paddy Power before the bookie had a chance to react.



"It looks like Apple may have been a little too fast out of the traps with the iPhone 4 launch," says the betting company "If current betting trends are to be believed it now seems certain that a recall is on the cards."

-- Dennis Sellers

| Read more »
Jul 14
'MacNotables' looks at iPhone reception, Apple TV...

The latest edition of "MacNotables" (http://www.macnotables.com/wordpress/), a podcast that serves as home to Mac personalities who will comment on the latest news and opinions in the Mac community, is available.

Mac guru Ted Landau has been holding out on us. He has been maintaining a secret blog that few knew about, and now reveals his slanted perspective on a variety of topics, tech and otherwise. Landau talks about the current state of the iPhone 4 reception controversy and where it is going, how Apple's design of the iPhone 4 bumper can cost you the price of new cables, and why it is so annoying.

He also talks about an Apple TV problem that he is working through, as well as his thoughts on why moving to a cloud-computing presents new challenges and opportunities, but is definitely not comfortable.

"MacNotables" panelists include Christopher Breen, Bryan...

| Read more »
Jul 14
New version of SkypeKit Beta SDK available

Skype has announced a new version of the SkypeKit Beta SDK (software development kit) that works on Mac OS X and Windows.

Now almost any desktop application can offer Skype conversations -- including video, voice, and text -- without the need for users to separately download Skype software. Interested desktop developers can visit http://developer.skype.com/signup to request an invitation to the beta. Just remember: beta software is unfinished software so use with care.

| Read more »
Jul 14
IMCapture for Yahoo Messenger available for Mac OS X

IMCapture has released IMCapture for Yahoo Messenger (http://www.imcapture.com/IMCapture_for_Yahoo_Messenger/), which expands the standard notion of on-line communication allowing the user to record audio and video calls from Yahoo Messenger in a "double click" way.

Provided with the record feature, IMCapture for Yahoo Messenger features settings to adjust the quality of the video as well. After setting "record audio" and "record video" by default, it captures all calls automatically. This software saves and converts audio and video calls as MP3, WMA or AAC files and QuickTime Movies (MOV), MPEG4, MPEG, VOB, PSP MPEG4, SWF and FLV correspondingly.

IMCarture for Yahoo Messenger works with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. It costs US$49.95 for a single user license.

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Jul 14
Better Finder Rename for Mac OS X updated to version 8.6.2

Publicspace.net (http://www.publicspace.net/) has released A Better Finder Rename 8.62, an update of the renaming solution for the Mac. The upgrade allows users to insert the name of the enclosing folder into file names in a variety of new ways.

A Better Finder Rename costs US$19.95. Business, family and enterprise licensing is also available. Customers may chose to include a "forever upgrade" with their purchase.

A Better Finder Rename requires Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6. It's Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

| Read more »
Jul 14
FoneSync for LG update supports Samsung phone syncing

Nova media (http://www.novamedia.de) has updated FoneSync for LG, a solution to synchronize LG phones with Mac OS X, to version 1.0.3. The new version allows users to synchronize contacts and calendars with Samsung phones, which could not be synced with the Mac OS X before.

FoneSync can be set to synchronize single address book groups and single calendars. The synchronization of contacts can be restricted to those that include at least one phone number and the time frame in which calendar events are synchronized can be altered as well.

FoneSync for Samsung phones is available for US$19.95. It requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher and a Bluetooth-enabled Mac.

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Jul 14
Password Repository for Mac OS X beefs up user interface

Tension Software has updated Password Repository (http://www.pomola.com/products_passwordrepository/passwordrepository.html), a Mac OS X password storage utility, to version 2.12. The upgrade sports a tweaked user interface, the ability to move the search field via keyboard shortcut and menu, and better handling of record creation.

Password Repository lets you save all your passwords in documents protecting them on disk using a single password. Data is encrypted using strong and bullet proof algorithms, and the password protecting a document is not saved in any place. Password Repository costs US$30, though version 2.12 is a free update for registered users of version 2.0.

The software is Universal Binary so runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. It requires Mac OS X 10.5 or higher.

| Read more »
Jul 14
Chronicle update lets you pay bills from Overview screen

LittleFin Software has released Chronicle 3.3.1 (http://www.littlefin.com/chronicle.html), an update to their home finance and bill paying application for Mac OS X. Now bills can be paid directly from the Overview screen.

Chronicle provides a graphical means to enter and track finances. Features include: automatic bill paying reminder; long-term debt tracking; database of payments and receipts; graphs and reports which analyze trends and averages; and a sortable list of upcoming bills which can be paid on-line from within the app.

In addition, Chronicle analyzes payments by month and year and displays the information graphically. It also averages payments so it is easier to budget for bills that fluctuate, like utilities or credit cards. Finally, the sortable overview screen displays at a glance when each bill is due. Colorful icons indicate when a bill is overdue,...

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Jul 14
Vitamin-R update plays well with Things list manager

Publicspace.net has announced Vitamin-R 1.18 (http://www.publicspace.net/Vitamin-R/index.htm), an update of its Mac OS X compatible productivity tool for creative professionals. The new version delivers integration with Cultured Code's popular Things to do list manager.

Vitamin-R is a collection of tools and techniques for managing attention and maintaining motivation. According to the folks at publicspace.net, it complements the task capturing and organizing features of modern to-do list managers by forcing you to concentrate fully on one task a time and keeping distractions at bay. It breaks down large, vaguely defined tasks into a series of short "time slices" of between 10 and 30 minutes, each with specific and actionable objectives.

Vitamin-R provides you with the "Now & Later Board," complete with FastType magic, to give you a place to quickly...

| Read more »
Jul 14
YourHead Software updates Stacks plug-in for RapidWeaver

YourHead Software has released Stacks 1.3 (http://www.yourhead.com/stacks/), an update of the page style plug-in for RapidWeaver, the web site creation tool for Mac OS X.

The new version sport a tweaked user interface for the most commonly used controls, slimmer code for the built-in layout elements, plus lots of under-the-hood changes. Stacks 1.3 also delivers a new application programming interface for developers of custom stacks.

Stacks allows users to build web pages by placing elements from the Stacks Library anywhere onto their web page layout. Elements can be moved, resized, styled, and even nested inside each other. Pages built with Stacks are completely flexible and flow their content to fit the dimensions of any RapidWeaver theme.

Stacks costs US$24.95. Version 1.3 is a free update for registered users.

| Read more »
Jul 14
Pixelmator for Mac OS X gets faster, adds new features

The Pixelmator Team (http://www.pixelmator.com) has updated Pixelmator -- a US$59 GPU-powered image editing tool for creating, editing and enhancing still images -- to version 1.6 (codenamed "Nucleus"). The upgrade, free to registered users, boasts performance improvements, 64-bit support, layer groups, an Import feature, Flickr, Facebook and Picasa support, redesigned transform tools, and more.

Pixelmator is based on Core Image and OpenGL technologies that use Mac's video card for image processing. Core Image and OpenGL utilize the graphics card for image processing operations, freeing the CPU for other tasks. If a high-performance card with increased video memory (VRAM) is present, the user will find real-time responsiveness across a wide variety of Pixelmator operations, including editing tools, color correction tools, and filters, according to Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team.

...

| Read more »
Jul 14
SharewarePublisher update tweaks how file sizes are converted

Ergonis Software has updated SharewarePublisher (http://www.ergonis.com/products/sharewarepublisher/), a software submission tool and assistant for Mac OS X, to version 1.4. The upgrade changes the way how file sizes are converted from byte to KB and MB.

Conversion is now based on 1,000 instead of 1024 to be consistent with Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). Besides that, the new version incorporates a number of enhancements and fixes.

SharewarePublisher was developed specifically for shareware developers, vendors and media specialists alike. The folks at Ergonis say it was built to make submitting software applications to leading software listing sites and repositories easy. It ships with almost 200 pre-configured shareware sites, with carefully hand-tuned ratings/priorities. Developers can submit to 100-plus sites within just a few hours, which...

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Jul 14
Canada Type font collection available from Ascender

Ascender Corp. says that the Canada Type font design studio has come to a font distribution agreement with Ascender.
 
Rebecca Alaccari and Patrick Griffin founded the Toronto-based Canada Type back in early 2004. Since its establishment, Canada Type has created a variety of typefaces for design professionals and creative enthusiasts. The Canada Type fonts have appeared on everything from large corporate projects to small personal design work.
 
The Canada Type font collection will add a number of enhanced versions of historical typefaces and expertly-designed original fonts to Ascender’s diverse collection of fonts. This includes a line-up of script fonts and a variety of exclusive psychedelic fonts from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Canada Type fonts are available in both TrueType and OpenType formats and can be found on the Ascender Fonts website. For more information or to view the fonts visit:...

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Jul 13
Cakewalk announces Mac support update for V-Studio 20

Cakewalk (http://www.cakewalk.com) has released a new Mac support update for the V-Studio 20. The free V-Studio 20 Mac Support update is available at the Cakewalk web site.

The V-Studio 20 Mac Support update enables the VS-20 hardware and Effects Editor to be used with all popular Mac-based recording software titles. The update provides Mac users with all the benefits of recording with the V-Studio 20 COSM guitar and vocal effects; and use of the V-Studio 20 hardware as dedicated universal DAW controller.

Additionally, both GarageBand and Logic can be further integrated into the V-Studio 20 system using the included custom control surface plug-in included in this update. The free V-Studio 20 Mac Support update includes: Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 drivers for the V-Studio 20 hardware (Mackie Universal Control); Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 support for the COSM effects Editor; and a plug-in for GarageBand and...

| Read more »
Jul 13
Aero case ships for the iPhone 4

RadTech (http://www.radtech.com) has introduced the Aero case for the iPhone 4. The US$24.95 case is form-fitting and lightweight. It's made of a skin-tight, zero-flex polyurethane material that purportedly enhances your grip of the Apple smartphone.

The Aero allows full control of the iPhone from inside the case. It's available in black, blue, green, purple and pink colors.


The Aero is washable and auoclavable. What's more, the folks at RadTech say it improves cell signal reception.

| Read more »
 
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